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St. Anna of Novgorod


Commemorated on February 10

St. Anna, Grandduchess of Novgorod, was born and baptized in Sweden. She was the daughter of the Swedish King Olof Skötkonung, the “philanthropist king”, who did much to spread Orthodoxy in Scandinavia, and the pious Queen Estrid.

In Sweden, she was known as Princess Ingegerd and married Yaroslav the Wise, Grand Prince of Kiev, in 1019, taking the name Irene. She gave shelter to the outcast sons of British King Edmund, Edwin and Edward, as well the Norwegian King Olaf, and his son, Prince Magnus.

Her children include Vladimir of Novgorod, Vsevolod of Pereyaslavl, himself the father of Vladimir Monomakh and progenitor of the Princes of Moscow,  Queen Anne of France, Queen Anastasia of Hungary, and Queen Elizabeth of Norway.

The whole family was profoundly devout and pious. In Kiev, St. Irene-Anna founded the convent of St. Irene the Great-Martyr, and ruled it.

She reposed in 1050, and is buried in the Cathedral of Holy Wisdom (St. Sophia) in Kiev, having been tonsured a monastic with the name of Anna. She is revered by Orthodox Christians in Sweden as the protectress of Sweden. A portion of her relics are kept in an Orthodox Church in Norrköping, Sweden, called Saint Anna of Novgorod Orthodox Church.